The Help

Rated 3.0

Set in early 1960s Jackson, Miss., The Help illustrates a place and time where Jim Crow still ruled the land, and racism wasn’t so much a term as it was the norm. Young, ambitious white college grad Skeeter (Emma Stone) decides to stir the pot by convincing the black maids of her town to compile a book of testimonials about their lives working for privileged white families. With the conveniently sentimental relationships depicted between Skeeter and her black friends, the film simplifies the Civil Rights movement into a sensationalized cinematic moment that’s just a little too sugar-coated. Though its credibility is saved by the genuine acting performances of the collective title characters. As stoic Aibileen and sassy Minny, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer deserve serious nods come Oscar season. Their convincing portrayals as maids have less to do with cooking and cleaning and more to do with presenting courageous voices during a time when it was safer to be silent. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13